On July 7th at 11:32 am EST, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shutdown due to an “internal technical issue,” also referred to as a “gateway connectivity issue.” At the time of writing, the New York Stock Exchange has put a hold on all securities on its trading room floor. As of right now, trading has not yet resumed.
It is important to note that this shutdown has only affected the NYSE, and none of the subsidiary stocks that are owned by the NYSE, or trade with it. As a result, the technical issues causing the NYSE to be out of commission for the time being are not being felt as significantly as might have been expected. There are 11 other NYSE-listed stocks that traders can use to carry out their bids and offers while the technical problem is addressed.
Today’s outage might have been dramatically worse if there were not so many other platforms on which to carry out bids and offers. In fact, only 20% of all trades relating to NYSE stocks are done on the New York Stock Exchange itself.
According to spokespeople on behalf of the NYSE, the hold up is not a result of any type of cyber attack. Instead, the NYSE made the choice to suspend trading in light of a technical issue that they are currently trying to solve. Given the sheer number of transactions that happen every minute on the NYSE trading floor, technical malfunctions that affect millions of dollars can have potentially catastrophic implications.
Outages like the one currently being experienced by the NYSE are rare. The last one occurred during August 2013 when the Nasdaq was put on hold for several hours.
At the time of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial average is down 184 points to 17.592, while the entire world is preoccupied by both the debt crisis in Greece, and falling Chinese stocks. Eight Chinese stocks that are traded in the U.S. are reporting a 40% decrease since the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index reached its peak on June 12, 2015.
In a more curious turn of events, July 8th’s NYSE shutdown has taken place the same day United Airlines announced a nationwide ground stop for all of its flights in light of a “technical glitch.” In addition, the Wall Street Journal’s website also experienced a temporary outage after the NYSE shutdown.
According to Gary Kaltbaum, the president of New York firm Kaltbaum Capital Management, a hack would be a worst case scenario. It would indicate that the potential is there for a widespread banking system or electrical grid hack as well.